It looks like UAE citizens won’t be required to identify themselves using government-issued documents in the near future. The country’s government has decided to greenlight an official trial of a new facial recognition technology (face ID technology) to further develop the services provided by the private and government sectors alike.
The decision was made at a Cabinet meeting on Sunday, which was chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai. “In a meeting today, we have approved a facial recognition technology to verify the identity of individuals instead of submitting a lot of documents,” tweeted His Highness.
If the initial trial turns out successful, the ministry will expand the use of the facial recognition technology and support the launch of a related set of services in some private sector institutions.
Besides being convenient and efficient, citizen identification using face ID technology could also help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and other infectious diseases. Similar contactless identification solutions are currently being deployed across airports, banks, and private businesses.
The Cabinet also approved the National Standards Manual for Statistical Data to provide a unified framework for the collection, processing, storage, and presentation of statistical data. The goal here is to ensure a high level of quality in all statistical activities, which play an essential role in supporting important governmental decisions.
The manual covers eight basic topics: economic statistics, social and demographic statistics, education statistics, employment statistics, environment statistics, buildings and housing units statistics, and administrative divisions of each emirate.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Cabinet reviewed a study dealing with the prevention of mental and physical disabilities and reducing the mortality rate among children by performing premarital screenings for genetic diseases. According to the study, premarital genetic tests can reliably predict the risk of developing genetic diseases.
Spotify Is Experimenting With Artist NFT Collections
According to a recent survey, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform.
NFT sales may have declined by 92 percent since September 2021, but that’s not stopping Spotify from experimenting with a new feature that lets artists display their non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the music streaming platform.
At the moment, only a small group of artists are taking part in the experiment, including Steve Aoki and The Wombats. What’s more, only select US users of the Spotify app for Android can see NFTs when they visit the profile pages of the aforementioned artists.
“Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles,” said Spotify spokesperson. “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
It’s important to point out that not all Spotify experiments result in new features. It all depends on the feedback the music streaming platform receives from users.
According to a survey some Spotify users have recently received, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform. More specifically, Spotify seems to be thinking about allowing its users to directly purchase NFT art to support their favorite artists.
Considering how polarizing NFTs have been since their inception in 2014, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Spotify users have immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of NFTs becoming part of the Spotify music listening experience.
Other large tech companies are also experimenting with NFTs. Instagram, for example, started testing NFT integration last week, allowing NFT creators and collectors to display their tokens on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg himself believes that NFTs and digital collectibles in general will play an integral role in the metaverse, the new iteration of the internet.